by Andrew McCombe
There is a lot of buzz these days about internet marketing, and it is true that it is a great, cost effective way to build a brand, and gain new business. However, whether you are running a brick and mortar business, or an online enterprise, there are still some great offline marketing ideas that you should not ignore.
Every day, you come into contact with hundreds, if not thousands of people, all of whom are potential clients for your business. While your online marketing and other advertising methods are important, it’s as important to take advantage of those chance encounters, and there are plenty of ways you can do that.
Offline marketing has the same goal as your marketing efforts online – it is designed to help drive traffic to your website or business. Print advertising, radio ads, and other forms of marketing and advertising that are not on the internet all fall into this category, but often, they are far beyond the budget of the small business owner.
The secret is to think outside of the box a little bit, and come up with offline marketing ideas that cost as little as possible, but that have maximum impact, and will get you the most exposure possible.
One of the most important things you should do is to always be armed with your business cards. You never know when you will meet someone who may be interested in, or useful to, your small business, and this is the cornerstone of offline marketing for your business. Keep business cards in your car, in your wallet or in your purse, and make sure that you always have them ready to hand over to anyone who seems interested.
Another great offline marketing idea is a low tech one. Have a t-shirt printed with your company details on it, and wear it when you go to events. You never know when someone at your child’s sports day will be your next big client, or someone you meet on the golf course is a new supplier with a great product, and by wearing your t-shirt, you open a channel for dialogue.
Flyers, or discount coupons are another great offline marketing tool that you can use to generate interest in your business. Have them printed with your latest special offers, or with a promotional code that customers can use to save on their next purchase. At the very least, when someone who receives one needs a product or service you provide, they will contact you for a quote.
Then there are so called guerrilla marketing tactics. These are marketing tactics that are designed to get people’s attention, but they need not be difficult or complicated to achieve. Simply having your website, and nothing else, printed on stickers, and then placing those stickers wherever you are allowed to, can generate more traffic for your business, and more sales.
If your budget for offline advertising is a little bigger, consider sponsoring an event, or even the scoreboard at your local school. Many organisations are always on the look out for sponsorships, and by taking part, you are doing some good, and you will get credited for it.
Networking is another great method of offline marketing. Nearly every city and town has at least one business networking group, and there are usually trade or commerce associations you can join too. These events usually put you in touch with likeminded business people, and can be a great source of referrals and business to business leads.
There is an old saying – no man is an island – and the same is true of your business. While the internet is great as a marketing tool, and it may even be your entire business, there is still a lot of value to offline marketing too. Personal connections, and real interactions with people can often be the catalyst that takes your business to the next level.
When you spend time on offline marketing efforts, you will connect with real people. Those people may just become your biggest clients, or they may be valuable business contacts. They are also likely to share what they have learned about you and your business with their friends, and word of mouth is still a powerful form of advertising.
So whether your business is online or off, it is a good idea to look for offline marketing ideas that meet your budget and your marketing needs, and put them into practice. It cannot hurt your business, and it can certainly do a lot to boost your success.
About the Author
Andrew McCombe is the owner of Activate Your Business where they teach new and existing business owners to Start, Grow and / or Automate their business(es) with EASE, so they can live a life of EASE. For more information and to get a free copy of the 10 EASY Steps to Your Perfect Business EBook, visit http://www.activateyourbusiness.com.au